Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dessa's Homespun Scents: Huge Fall Order

Ladies and gentlemen, I present my yearly epic fall wax haul from Dessa's Homespun Scents. Each scent featured was bought in a five ounce bag of shapes for $5.50. I had entirely too much fun picking shapes and selecting scents. There are still a few I forgot (Autumn Campfire?! How?!) but Dessa will be having a fall/Halloween sampler on sale September 1st so I may pick them up then. Regardless, I now have within my possession a ridiculously wonderful amount of autumnal aromas. 

Autumn Garland- A medley of zesty mandarin orange, autumn pear, tart cranberry and a background of autumn leaves. *New*
Plump cranberries simmer with orange zest in a pot on the stove while a touch of woods and honeyed nectar dance on the breeze and through the open windows. It almost reminds me of the BBW Leaves scent with extra helpings of vivid cranberries and oranges thrown in. I love it. Brilliant blend. 

Apples & Evergreen- Macintosh apples, freshly picked, on a back drop of pine forest.
Repurchase. Pine and balsam and evergreen, softly sweet and resinous, blended with shiny apples. 

Beach Night Bonfire- Salty sea spray mingles with campfire smoke wafting through the cool night air. *New*
Ocean and campfire, indeed, burst forth in a froth of sea foam and curling smoke. Right up my alley. Why have I lived in Florida all my life, spent copious amounts of time at the shore and yet have never actually been to a beach bonfire?

Apples & Cinnamon- Fresh apple slices generously topped with ground cinnamon.
Repurchase. Classic spicy apples with cinnamon scent. Robust and strong. Fragrant and comforting. Quite possibly my number one comfy cozy scent.

Smoky Mountain Berries- Fraser fir needles, fresh cranberries, bayberry leaves and a touch of vanilla.
Repurchase. Tartly sweet cranberries pair up with the bayberry and evergreen to create a traditional holiday fragrance. The added measure of vanilla really does lend a uniqueness to this scent that smooths the sometimes overly green edges of the fir needles. I would actually melt this all year but I always end up blowing through it over the holidays. 

Smoky Mountain Christmas- Smoky Mountain Berries blended with Christmas Tree. *New*
This one is more evergreen heavy but now it is reminding me of that Cranberry Citrus Balsam scent I adore, but with vanilla added. A new fast favorite. Different enough from Smoky Mountain Berries that I need both. Yep, I said need

This Old Cabin- Spicy hot ginger, warm apple sauce, a dash of cinnamon and the subtle earthiness of fresh outdoor pine.
Repurchase. The pine is more woody than camphorous and it may sound weird but I almost get a tobacco vibe from this one. Mellow and light tobacco but present and combining with the lightly spiced fruits wonderfully. Cozy and rustic for sure. 

Warm Vanilla Nutmeg- Creamy French vanilla, vanilla beans and warm spicy nutmeg. 
I personally never find this to be a hot spicy scent but rather an uber creamy bakery vanilla with a touch of toasted nutmeg. It smells so stinkin' good. Thrilled to try out Dessa's version as sometimes I find this particular scent to be a light thrower from other vendors.

Cold Barn Mornings- The aroma of fresh bales of hay, rich cedarwood and the damp morning air after the rain. *New*
The hay lies damp and dewy in mouldering mounds of straw for the livestock to bed down in come dusk. Cedarwood planks, aged and greying, prop up the roof and provide shelter. There is a watery and moist atmosphere to this scent for sure. I think of all the scents I purchased from this order, this one is my least favorite. I like the idea of a cold barn morning, but it is almost too realistic. Maybe it reminds me too much of mucking my steer's stall in the pre-dawn hours before I headed to high school. It is totally uncool to arrive at school with cow crap on your shoes and tracking it into English Lit.

Cinnamon Pine Cones- Pine cones dipped in layers of spicy cinnamon.
Fiery cinnamon oil perfection. This comes off like my favorite cinnamon broom type of scents. All cinnamon, deep, rich and hot with a base of woodsy delight. <3 Guys! It is almost time for my yearly cinnamon broom purchase!

Campfire Marshmallow- Sweet marshmallow toasted over an evening campfire.
Sticky vanilla marshmallow characterizes this fragrance more than anything else. There lurks the slightest whiff of burnt woods but it forms as the memory of a campfire rather than the actual event. Looking forward to melting this one and seeing how it blooms.

Cinnamon Garland- Crisp fresh bayberry infused with spicy ground cinnamon.
Repurchase. A sweetly spiced evergreen type of fragrance with that almost anise and eucalyptus leaning bayberry. I always enjoy this one.

Country Store- Cinnamon, ginger, apples, spices and scented candles.
Repurchase. Don't let this one fool you on cold sniff. I *almost* gave away my first sample of this a year or so ago and I am so glad I didn't. Once melted, this one blooms into the most delicious classic spiced fruits scent. 

Crackling Campfire- Crackling fire and woodsmoke.
Warm embers and heavy smoke. There is a touch of a liquid smoke vibe to this, the kind used in cooking. I am hoping that melts off and just reveals a smooth fireside type of scent. If not, I bet it will be a great blender scent.

I wanted to try this from Dessa as I have yet to. It's a pretty great one! Icy and brisk as well as sweet. Very much like an old fashioned candy cane. The melty kind that dissolve on the tongue. 

Fireside Hearth- Smoldering embers sweetened with leather, sandalwood and amber. 
This is the BBW Fireside dupe. Smoky, woodsy and complex. I love this scent. I miss the candle. Maybe I can grab one this year. If not, I will have these babies.

Fall in the Country- Crisp apple cider, oak, oranges, cinnamon bark and a dash of cloves.
Another snuggly spiced fruit scent but the oak and oranges do lend a nice dimension. Happy to have this to melt in a few short weeks. 

Haunted Hollow- Cedarwood and spicy cinnamon.
Repurchase. Hey! When one requests a blend and it gets made, one must always make sure to enjoy it now and again. I asked for a spiced cedarwood blend and Dessa delivered. I enjoy this for a nice change of pace from all the pumpkins and apples about mid-fall. The cedarwood is earthy and dank and the spice warms it up. The name is very fitting as it does remind me of Sleepy Hollow. A little mysterious, primitive and spooky.

Harvest Festival- Juicy red apples, tart cranberries and warm cinnamon leaf.
Repurchase? Maybe? I seriously have purchased a metric ton of Dessa's fall scents so I perhaps have sampled this one previously. I love the cranberries in this one. Heavily sweet and juicy. 

October- Fresh apple cider infused with a gentle background of sweet caramel, pumpkin pie, crushed cinnamon and a dash of spicy cloves. 
Repurchase. A brilliant blend of pumpkin pie, spiced and decadent, with that caramel drizzle. It truly embodies October for me. The addition of caramel really sets this apart.

Harvest Moon- Nutmeg and cinnamon sticks over a base of applewood and cedar. 
Repurchase. Good grief, boy do I love this one. I don't recall ever smelling the BBW Autumn Night that this is a dupe of but I enjoy it. The cedar and woods have a rustic ambiance that is highlighted by the subtle spice and sweetness. This would be the scent of a fall festival at night, magically spiced with potions, rustling leaves that reveal scampering wood goblins and the moon indulgently watching over all. 

Scarecrow- A blend of crisp, earthy, rustling fall leaves, cinnamon bark and the warmth of season spices. *New*
The spices save this scent for me. If they were not present I probably would not enjoy this as it smells similar to the BBW Autumn Day fragrance oil that never quite agrees with me (which is strange because I have the actual candle and love it? Some disconnect somehow). Back to Scarecrow, it has that same almost bitter tang of leaves that turns sour for me, but the spice takes some of that edge off. Actually looking forward to melting this one and seeing if it works for me.

Pumpkin Farm- Pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin. A fusion of some of my favorite pumpkin scents. *New*
A sweet and spicy pumpkin aroma that that smells satiny and warm. A well done classic spiced pumpkin fragrance.

Pumpkin Wreath Woods- Fall pumpkins, earthy oak wood and hints of cinnamon.
Repurchase. Ripe pumpkins with their wooden stems tied with bundles of cinnamon sticks decorate the cabin doorway, inviting friends and family to feast and fellowship. The oak sets this apart from typical pumpkin spice scents. Always a love.

Free samples!

On the Boardwalk- Lemony fruity candy. Interesting! I was expecting the typical boardwalk scent of apples, cakes and popcorn. I like this.

Mulled Hot Cider- Spice apple cider with a bit of woods and allspice.

Haunted Hayride- Outdoorsy and earthy with a touch of sweet.

Old Time Candy Shop- A true candy bowl filled with hard candies, strawberry filled candies, chocolates and raspberry licorice. It does manage to smell old fashioned. Almost like a candy story on Main Street USA at Disney or something. Or a trick-or-treat bag before Snickers took over the world.

Friends. If you made it this far, thank you. It took me a few nights to smell and mull over this cornucopia of fall wax. I am over the Harvest Moon with this order from Dessa's. She really does have some of the best fall scents out there and her quality and customer service are exceptional. A reminder that she is only open form the 1st to the 20th of each month and has about a 2-3 week TAT. 

What are your Dessa favorites? Where are you getting your fall wax from? Are you decorating soon?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Streetman Candle Company: Boutique de Fleur Candle

Heather Streetman from Streetman Candle Company, or Streetman Company Store, has been making and selling candles and wax products for several years. She is also one mean cook and with her husband, creates some fabulous seasonings and foodie items. But back to this candle business. Heather has been back in the saddle and pouring candles again. She sells her 11 ounce candles for $10 each and offers a few scents at a time via her Facebook business page and her Facebook group page as well I believe. I entered a contest a few weeks ago and won a candle of my choice from three scents. I picked Boutique de Fleur. 

Boutique de Fleur- Notes: A blend of roses, magnolia, gardenia, tuberose, arris blossom with a touch of vanilla and a hint of sugar.

This candle throws like a beast, folks. The wick stood tall and strong and the flame flickered nicely. A pool formed after about an hour or two. I feel like this will be a nice slow burning candle that will last a good long while. The scent of summertime honeysuckle filled the whole living area and kitchen and even crept into my bedroom and the hallway. This is not an abrasive or artificial floral scent but a realistic still-life of a bounty of southern flowers. Creamy, sun drenched gardenias and wild narcotic tuberose stand at the forefront and though I know honeysuckle and jasmine aren't listed as notes, their presence pours forth to my senses. I loved lighting this at the tail end of summer. I will continue to burn it until September 1st hits and then sock it away in my closet until spring. 

I am thrilled Heather is back at the helm, creating and inspiring, using aromatic means to bring happiness and scent into our homes. I will be stalking her Facebook page for more candle scents in the future. 

Do you miss Streetman? Ready to bring some back into your home? What Streetman scent would you love to see in a candle? I miss Strawberry Woods, Summer Lovin', Apple Cinnamon Honey Cake and 30 Below. Oh! And Cotton Candy Spruce Berries.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Purple Trail Planner: Teacher Edition

I rely on planners and have relied on them for some time now. Around my entry into university began my appreciation for the time management tool that planners can function as. I have blogged about the Erin Condren planner here and the Craftsposure planner here. Last year I used a simple Blue Sky planner I picked up at Target, seen here. Being an assistant teacher simply didn't require the heavy duty planning that being a lead teacher requires. I knew once I accepted the new job I would need space to plan lessons, conferences and a plethora of meetings and such. After being out of the planner game for a while and knowing there were parts of the Erin Condren I didn't enjoy, I hit up Etsy with a few key features in mind. After browsing for a few hours I settled on Purple Trail. I liked that they had customizable teacher centric planners with tons of features and cover art that I enjoyed. I chose a Doctor Who themed planner in the teacher format. Prices start at $36.95 for a basic planner with a laminate cover. I upgraded quite a few things, starting with a larger size and a hardcover. I am enjoying the durability of the hardcover as it has been plunged into and scooped out of my purse many times since its arrival. 

Opening the planner reveals a title page with a place to inform ownership and the basics. The next couple pages show various formats of a couple years' worth of calenders for at-a-glance planning.

Then there are reinforced monthly tabs, with each month being a different color. The first page of the month showcases a snapshot of the month.

Next comes the monthly calendar, I love a nice monthly calendar for keeping track of events, dates with people, birthdays and scheduling. I also enjoy the column on the right for brainstorming and goal setting. 

The next page in the month breaks down that month, day by day, week by week. This is where lesson plans and whatnot live. I use it for laying out what will be taught that week, spelling words I will test the kids on and journal prompts I want to use that week. As the school year goes by it will also be used for projects, presentations and writing camps. 

The last page of the month is blank and it makes my heart go pitter pat to think of the possibilities. For August and possibly future months as well, I use it to create my Ebb and Flow posts. I jot down what I am loving/hating/thinking/using as the month goes on. Warning... spoilers! LOL! And please don't judge my misspelled words through out the planner. Clearly, having autocorrect has weakened my spelling abilities. Ah well. Gives me something to work on. Maybe I will take the spelling tests with the kiddos. :-)

As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of add-ons you can choose with these planners. Of course, they cost extra, but nothing out of the ordinary I don't think. I added 4 add-ons. The limit is five. My first was a "Notes" section. I love to write out scent descriptions, travel plans, Christmas lists and work emails and such in my planner. This gives me ample room. I got a dozen pages and a tab for Notes for $3.95.

My second add-on was a "To Do List" section, 12 pages with 8 lists each and a tab for $3.95.

Mmmmm.... yummmmmm. To do lists make my knees weak. 

My third add-on was a pocket folder page. It has a pocket on each side and was $5.00 extra. I also rushed my planner as my 4th add-on for $9.95. It rushes the creation so that it will be assembled in one day. I was running late on getting my grubby hands on my new shiny precious. 

After all my add-ons, upgrades and rushing plus shipping it cost $82.85. Yes, it is an investment, but one I happily make. A good planner really is invaluable to a teacher. I will cuddle her, sing to her and tuck her in each night. She has found her forever home. 

Do you use planners? Do you have any recs for stickers or fun plannery things? Pens? I love some good pens. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Melting Basket 104

Tarts from the last basket I enjoyed enough to procure again include: TBG Sleepy, Ever Night and Happy Un-Birthday, MooScents Carnival Cakes (if they every open again), LSC Southern Belle and Sinful, CFTKR Sugared Strawberry Spruce, Ultimate Sugar Cookie, Mistletoe and Fig, Smoked Applewood and Apples and Acorns and Apple Balsam Pine. 

Super Tarts- Maleficent <3 gift
Super Tarts- Hades <3 gift
Rosegirls- Americana Wafers
Ten Digit Creations- Pumpkin Lavender
Ten Digit Creations- Nag Champa <3 gift
Ten Digit Creations- Dragon's Blood <3 gift
Ten Digit Creations- Wood You?
Ten Digit Creations- Cherry Wood and Gypsy Magic
Bohemienne Life- Besos del Sol
The Bathing Garden- Spring Fling <3 gift
Bento Wax- Death of a Bachelor <3 gift
Tiffany's- Get Naked <3 gift
Candy Panda- Meet Me in The Woods <3 gift
Bonjour Wax- I'm Not A Dalek <3 gift
Starry Skies- Bay Rum <3 gift
Wonderberry Wax- Lavender Blackberry Ice Cream <3 gift
UNKNOWN vendor- Promise? Promise. and You're Not Alone (side note rant, Vendors! at the very least please put your company name somewhere on the tart. There is a strong likelihood your wax will get destashed or gifted and then the next person has no idea where to buy more if they love it.)

Most of these were recently gifted to me through a couple of swaps or acts of kindness. I am thrilled to dive into more newish-to-me vendors. If you would like any reviewed, please drop me a line. 

It has slowly been a touch more quiet around these parts and on my social media. Mid August whipped my tail and I am just now starting to feel some semblance of equilibrium restored. Thank you for sticking with me. 

I saw this sign while we were walking around the mountainside neighborhood where we vacationed in Tennessee this summer and it made me smile every time I read it. Serenity now.... insanity later. I am thinking and hoping my bout with temporary insanity has passed for at least this little while. Headed back to teaching, lesson planning, conferences, IEPs, 504s, steps to getting my certification back, headed back to school for Montessori training, health issues for myself and my daughter, big life decision disagreements with my husband all fell on me like so many rocks and boulders. I was fighting to get through one day without crying or feeling sick to my stomach. 

The rocks have been pushed aside, one by one, still close by and things I have to deal with but I am just sitting on one and catching my breath. One day at a time. Once decision at a time. Each day is sufficient. I will take any prayers one wishes to put forth for Savanna and her upcoming surgery. It isn't a life threatening issue but surgery is surgery and all the blood works, x-rays and pre-op appointments signal the realness of it. 

Despite the stressors and worries, I have still been able to maintain my momentum in regards to my health improvements. Now, my exercising has not been the best but at least I am still watching my foods. I am down 22 pounds now and holding firm. I feel like my food choices at restaurants comes more easier (looking for those healthier light entrees, simple meat and veggies or fresh salads). That is a definite NSV (non-scale victory). I had my second ultrasound in regards to my ovarian cysts. Apparently I have tons of follicles flooding my ovaries and this could be an indicator (among many other symptoms I have) that I may have PCOS. My doctor and I are going to talk further about it. There isn't a cure and pretty much diet and exercise are the only things that could help. Which I am doing anyway. This is just another motivator. Things will get bette.r 

How have you been doing? How is work? Your day to day? How do you deal with stress?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Arcana: Alec D'Uberville

Alec D'Uberville by Arcana Wildcraft- Notes: The profligate essence of an aristocratic libertine. Amber resin, charred Madagascar vanilla, French cognac, clove, sandalwood and dark musk.

Aristocratic libertine, indeed. In the bottle, deep whiffs reveal a strong intoxicating brandy blended with fuzzy amber vanilla and that dark musk slinking around the edges and underbelly. Once on the skin the cognac fumes weave into the flesh, alternating with resin and woody clove that flashes a warm piquant attitude that bites then kisses. 
Clove spiked cognac, a bulbous glass full, cupped in the palm of a charming rogue in a tailcoat who casually engages in high stakes gambling at White's Gentlemen's Club in London. As Alec D'Uberville ages on the skin the cognac vanishes little by little (one must keep his wits when doing a proper swindle) but never completely disappears. The deep musk of gentrified men warming to schemes and intrigue thickens the air. Their breath and laughter exhaling a thin haze of that spiced amber cognac. Deep into the fragrance a touch of White's wooden halls ghosts the scent in the form of sandalwood, sweetly spicy and vanillic. 

I love this fragrance. I will be getting my milage out of this one. Julia posted on Facebook about reopening pretty soon here. And possibly something about a Peaches Crave Forests? Eh? Sign me up. What are you wearing? Have any particular Arcana quests you would like to achieve when she reopens? 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mermaid Treasure: Candice Vostrejs

Candice Vostrejs is a silversmith out of Colorado and runs an Etsy shop that sells my all-time favorite micro stud earrings. I purchased a set of three in the past, one silver, one copper and one brass pair to wear in my ears but with my earring negligence I have misplaced one here or there. 

I recently placed an order for my second pair of tiny silver studs for $13 and they arrived in a cute package with care instructions and a patch of sunshine cloth to polish them with in the future. 

I enjoy the handmade appearance of these studs, rather than the traditional ball earrings. Plus, Candice allows you to choose form two different posts sizes. I always select the shorter length since I sleep in my earrings and my daughters do too. 

These tiny studs are perfect for my second and third holes, but a bit small for my first ones and could probably get lost in there. Candice does offer a variety of other tiny stud shapes. Her geometric designs really appeal to me. 

Do you wear earrings? Do you enjoy studs or stud-muffins? 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dan's Market Shop: Jardins D'Ecrivains Candle

This candle was sent free from Dan's Market Shop for reviewing purposes.

Dan's Market Shop reached out earlier in the month about doing a candle review and offering a coupon code to readers. Being an amber woods lover I chose the Jardins D'Ecrivains candle scented in Le Jardin de Blixen. This 100% vegetable wax candle is scented in three notes: amber, musk and cedar. The candle is named for Karen Von Blixen-Finecke, a Danish writer who wrote Out of Africa. I found it interesting that the instructions were for this candle to be burned while reading and writing. 

This candle burned with a stout hearty flame and pooled to the edges quickly. The wax feels soft and is nicely scented. An airy veil of golden amber woods wafts about the bedroom when I burn this scent. Fresh, realistic and ethereal, this fragrance does not hold any sweetness or vanilla within the amber. It pairs well with The Enchantress of Florence, a book I am currently reading. I have not tested its powers for influencing writing but I remain hopeful that the lovely scent alone will inspire future tales.

I believe this 6 ounce candle was around $40 and made in Paris, but it looks like it has since sold out. There are other candles that range from $13.99 up to just over $20. 

Dan from Dan's Market Shop has generously gifted my readers with a 10% off coupon code that can be used until September 15th: DANS10. Dan's Market Shop also looks to have perfumes and home decor, cute gift shop types of items. 

What candle is burning on your nightstand?